The current chairman of Hallsville Area Family Clinic said Friday he is in the final stages of discussions with Boone Hospitals to transfer ownership of the clinic to them.
Currently, the clinic is run by John and Rose Schloot as a non-profit with financial help from the Central Bank of Boone County.
According to John Schloot, the couple took over about eight years ago when the previous provider left the city.
Neither have medical experience and Schloot said this has hurt them as they try to run the clinic.
“Not being in the medical industry and being an independent small clinic, we don’t have the buying power, we don’t have negotiating power with insurance companies,” he said. “Now that we have the Affordable Care Act in place, the regulations have become more cumbersome for us to comply with.”
Schloot said they have about 3,000 patients in the network but are only open three days a week, which he said is one of the ‘hiccups’ they have had to deal with over the years.
He said it was a relief to have Boone Hospitals put an offer on the table.
“They’ve got a good base of providers, nurse practitioners and doctors,” he said. “They have a niche. We did not.”
As Hallsville continues to grow, city leaders said they believe having medical professionals take over the clinic will raise the quality of care but also make it more convenient for patients who won’t have to drive to Columbia for serious care.
“It’s convenient for my family, my friends, my neighbors and just for everybody, whether it be the elderly, down to little children,” said Hallsville Mayor Cheri Reisch. “Just to have a doctor right there if you get hurt or you have an illness is going to be so nice.”
Schloot said the clinic will be closed for a few weeks as they prepare to get Boone Hospitals to sign the lease.
He said Boone agreed to take care of the patients in the meantime.